Skill-based digital games look like they may be the future of gambling. PokerStars’s Power Up will finally go live for real money. Scott Tom has been released from custody. These stories and more in today’s Hit and Run.

Offline’s the new online

Former PartTimePoker contributor Steve Ruddock just got back from G2E – the Global Gaming Expo – in Las Vegas, and has a trip report over at USPoker. The nutshell version of his observations is that there’s not a whole lot going on in the online gambling space, but offline digital games look like they’re going to be all the rage.

One of the problems facing the gambling industry recently has been that the younger generation is less inclined to games of chance than previous ones, but skill-based games like poker have steep learning curves and newly-invented ones have a hard time gaining traction. Digital games are easier to pick up, but preventing cheating in an online environment is extremely difficult. Thus, the industry is turning towards arcade-like gambling games with a skill element; some, like GameCo’s Danger Arena, are single player vs. AI, while Gamblit Gaming has a player-vs.-player PacMan game, plus something called “Deal or No Deal Poker.”

Quick Hitters

– According to the PokerStars blog, real-money Power Up is already available for players on the dot-EU client, while dot-com and dot-UK should go live later this week. Initial stakes will range from $1 to $15.

– Absolute Poker founder Scott Tom has been released from US custody and has returned to Antigua. In accordance with his plea deal, Tom was sentenced to just seven days plus time served, and hit with a $300,000 fine – pocket change in comparison to the amount of money he and his company stole from players. Tom no longer has US citizenship, having formally renounced it as part of his efforts to evade justice; part of his ill-gotten gains seem to have gone to purchasing citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda.

– Famous actor and notorious Trump supporter James Woods insists that rumors of his retirement from acting to pursue poker full time are ill-founded. That’s probably good news for anyone with progressive politics, as one can avoid his movies more readily than the man himself at the poker tables.

– Meanwhile, Dan Bilzerian and Dakota Meyer continue to make the worst mass shooting in US history all about themselves and the relative size of their penises egos.